Driffield News

Feel the love for railway memorabilia as interest builds in Spicer’s Valentine’s auction

Railway lovers will flock to Driffield tomorrow for a Valentine’s Day auction where an extensive collection of memorabilia from Bridlington railway station’s buffet and restroom will go under the hammer. 

The Exchange Saleroom at Spicers Auctioneers & Valuers is expected to be standing room only when close to 350 nameplates, station signs, adverts and railway artefacts are sold on behalf of John Sadler who gave up the tenancy of the buffet on Christmas Eve. 

The estimated value of the collection is £30,000, with many of the individual items expected to amass up to £1,000. Interest in the memorabilia has been widespread with enquiries coming through to auctioneer Andrew Spicer and his staff in the Driffield saleroom from Europe and Africa. 

Andrew will be conducting the sale and he told the Wolds Weekly that the subject and variety of the lots has sparked unprecedented interest. 

“The lots are just so interesting and varied,” he said. “We’ve had the most enquiries for any auction we’ve ever held and these have come from all over Europe, Africa and even a phone call from a Scarborough man who had been told about the auction by a friend who lives in America.

“One of the most popular items is a railway clock from the Great Eastern Railway station of Standon in Hertfordshire, which pre-dates 1923. Other items that will do well are the nameplates, especially one from The Dame Vera Lynn, which is currently based at the North York Moors Railway and there is currently a huge campaign to restore it. 

The railway clock from the Great Eastern Railway station of Standon in Hertfordshire

“A refreshments sign which was displayed outside the original Bridlington Station Buffet is expected to make between £500 and £800, whilst there has been lots of interest in the shedplates, which to most people don’t look to be worth much. 

“These were pinned onto the sheds where the carraiges were parked and one of them was on a shed which housed 182 engines.”

Collections such as Mr Sadler’s are rare and Andrew said that it’s a day he is looking forward to as it is something completely different to the sales held at Spicer’s on a regular basis.

This comes despite experts in railway memorabilia warning Andrew that he would be inundated with calls from people trying to correct the information he had researched about each lot. 
However, he has received just one call, which highlights the excellent work he and his staff have done on behalf of Mr Sadler. 

“This kind of auction isn’t something I’ve done previously and I was warned by experts in this field that once the lots go online, people would be telling me that this was wrong and that was wrong,” said Andrew. 

“However, only one person has come to us, which is encouraging. I think many of the people who have shown an interest are those who used to go to Bridlington in the summer, had a cup of tea at the station buffet, saw some of the items whilst they were there and now have the opportunity to buy them. 

“We’re anticipating a busy day and we’re providing refreshments for the first time. It will be a crowd full of different people from a variety of backgrounds. The interest on Facebook has been extraordinary and shows the significance of the sale. 

Andrew Spicer will be conducting the sale

“It should be a really interesting day and we’re really looking forward to it. It’ll be a good day in the office and completely different to what we normally do. We chose Valentine’s Day purposely as so many people have seen their lovers off on steam trains and it’ll have a nice romantic feel.”

The Bridlington Station Buffet and Refreshment Rooms Auction starts at 10am tomorrow (Friday 14th February) Viewing time is 9am-10am on the day of the sale.

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